Lincoln LS demand has dropped 18 percent to 14,197 units so far this year. LS sales peaked at 51,039 units in 2000.
Lincoln phase-out bad sign for Wixom
Automaker will halt Lincoln LS production there next year; no new models are in the works.
Detroit News staff and wire reports
Bloomberg News contributed to this report.
Ford Motor Co. will stop production of the Lincoln LS midsize luxury sedan next year, a move analysts say increases the likelihood the automaker will close the Wixom plant where the car is built.
The LS sedan debuted in 1999 and production will end after the 2006 model year, Ford spokeswoman Lydia Cisaruk told Bloomberg News. The factory stopped building the Ford Thunderbird in June and will continue to assemble the Lincoln Town Car and the low-volume, $140,000 Ford GT sports car.
"They're not earmarked for" new models, Joe Langley, an analyst at automotive forecaster CSM Worldwide in Farmington Hills, said of the Wixom plant.
The Town Car could be moved to a large car factory in St. Thomas, Ontario, that produces the Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis.
The Wixom plant opened in 1957 and has about 1,800 employees that work on a single production shift. Ford spokeswoman Anne Marie Gattari said the automaker has "nothing to announce" concerning the Wixom factory's future.
Lincoln LS demand has dropped 18 percent to 14,197 units this year, and overall Lincoln sales have fallen 7.1 percent. LS sales peaked in 2000 at 51,039 units. Ford is preparing to build a new Lincoln sedan -- the Zephyr -- in Mexico this fall, and has earmarked a plant in Atlanta to build additional Lincoln sedans, company and union officials say.
In response to mounting losses in North America, Ford is undertaking another round of deep cost cuts, including factory closings. In recent months, company officials have indicated Ford has four extra assembly plants in North America.